[nabs-l] Independent Travel At Crowded Major College Sporting Events
kimthurman at insightbb.com
Tue Nov 9 17:02:31 UTC 2010
Kerry and all:
I usually don't give my opinions on this list often, but I have to jump in here. I live in Louisville, Kentucky, home of the University of Louisville, a school in The Big East Conference with your school, West Virginia. I have been to a football game there in Morgantown when the University of Louisville played West Virginia.
I don't want to squash your eagerness to be independent, but one of these football games is not the time to practice it. I don't know too many sighted women who would go to one of these events alone. The area you would be traveling in is massive and noisy. The stadium is quite dangerous with steps and more steps everywhere. The tailgating parking lots are full of drunks and cars. I have gone with my sighted husband, and he has to be on full alert while navigating these places himself.
The basketball game might be doable if you can get into the building on your own. The atmosphere at those events is not quite as rowdy and the venue is not so daunting. I think you could get directions there from some nice people. Do not be afraid to take help when it is offered. I will take all the help I can get when I walk into the restrooms at these events by myself. I carry the cane just so people will know I am blind. There are usually lines, which I don't want to cut and make people angry. Most of the time someone will let me cut the line anyway. People are usually very nice. Just try to be pleasant when you refuse help, so that person will get a positive image of blind people.
Sorry for all the advice, but I just want you to be safe while maintaining your independence. See if you can get someone to go with you to the football game. I think you will enjoy it much better.
On Nov 8, 2010, at 11:08 PM, Kerri Kosten wrote:
> Hi Jedi and all:
> Thanks so much for your answers! For the upcoming basketball game I
> will definitely be more assertive with the people and tell them
> exactly what I want...I think I can do the basketball game fine!!
> Thanks so much!
> I would absolutely love love to go to the football game with another
> blind person but there aren't any other blind people around here.
> That's the problem with that idea...you have no idea how much I'd love
> to do that...if there were another blind person around here I wouldn't
> be asking the questions I do on this list lol but unfortunately there
> Okay onto the female thing...honestly when I really really sit and
> think about it...the reason I bring the whole blind female thing up is
> that I'm scared something bad will happen...a drunken man grabbing
> me...someone pushing me and knocking me down (I'm really petite),
> something like that...going with another blind woman would certainaly
> squash this fear...but there aren't any around here.
> Since I don't have any other blind people to go with, and your right
> it would be kind of silly asking a sighted person to let me take
> charge of the travel...since there are so many drunks at this game
> would it maybe be best for me to call the ticket office ahead, explain
> the situation, get to the game super early, and have someone from
> security or who works at the stadium help me into the game early (so
> there are no lines), I listen to the game, then maybe could make
> arrangements to meet someone afterwords somewhere to get home?
> I know this isn't at all independent travel but with the situation
> would that be better or should I try to go for the true doing it on my
> On 11/8/10, Jedi <loneblindjedi at samobile.net> wrote:
>> About asking for directions and refusing assistance. You're on the
>> right track. Just let folks know that you're okay and tell them what
>> kind of help they can give you if at all. Otherwise, say no thanks and
>> move on. If they insist on helping you, just be polite, yet firm, in
>> your refusal by stating that you're not interested in receiving certain
>> kinds of help and would prefer other forms of help instead.
>> As to taking a sighted person along but you being in charge, it is a
>> little impractical to tell a sighted person to take the back seat
>> because they don't know how. They will want to help you, so they'll
>> interfear. Otherwise, they'll just be super anxious and no fun to be
>> around. So your better bet is to either go it alone or ask a friend to
>> go who you know won't get in your way. If you can, I'd recommend
>> inviting a blind friend to tag along.
>> You asked about being a female and going to these kind of events. I'll
>> be honest: it's really hard (just as is true with blindness) to stop
>> thinking of oneself as a helpless and defenseless female at the mercy
>> of potentially drunken men. You talked about people thinking of you as
>> the poor blind girl. It sounds like you're still struggling with that
>> in your own mind. If it were me, I'd probably go with someone just to
>> have someone to talk to and because the buddy system is always a safe
>> bet no matter your sex or vision status. But if at all possible, go
>> with another blind woman. That way, you'll know in your heart that sex
>> nor vision has anything to do with anything.
>> Good luck.
>> Original message:
>>> Hi All!
>>> I have some more travel questions, this time about navigating sporting
>>> I am a huge sports fan. My team is the West Virginia University
>>> Mountaineers, we made it to the Final Four last year in Basketball and
>>> are a major Division I school.
>>> I am trying to do what I want when I want and keep a positive attitude.
>>> This coming weekend is my birthday. All I really want is to practice
>>> independent travel and feel the confidence that comes from doing what
>>> you want when you want independently and knowing you used your cane
>>> and for the most part did it yourself. There is a basketball game this
>>> Friday, and a football game this Saturday.
>>> First I'll start with the questions about the basketball game, then
>>> move to football. I attended a basketball game last week and things
>>> went well for the most part but I do have a few questions.
>>> First, how do you explain to sighted people that you appreciate their
>>> help but you need to explore on your own? At the basketball game
>>> Friday, I want to try to find my seat on my own...I want to pass each
>>> section (not go into each section but walk past it) and every once in
>>> a while randomly ask someone "Excuse me what section is this?" Oh,
>>> this is section 45...I need section 60...I need to keep going...kind
>>> of like the way everyone finds their delegations at national
>>> convention or the way you find your gate for a flight at an airport. I
>>> need to explore, not be guided! Of course though the sighted people
>>> just want to guide...how do I let them know their help is appreciated
>>> but I need to explore on my own and that all I need is some directions
>>> towards say the ticket window or the concession stand?
>>> Also, because I haven't had much practice using my cane I don't walk
>>> as fast as I should. Because of this when I am lost...I look lost.
>>> Another thing I do is when I am unsure of where to go I tend to doubt
>>> myself and turn around thinking I am going in the wrong direction when
>>> in fact I am usually going the right way! How do you gain more
>>> confidence when lost? Does it just come with time? When your unsure do
>>> you just keep going even if you doubt yourself until you find someone
>>> who can give you directions or tell you if you are going the right
>>> On Saturday is a football game. About 60,000 people attend our games
>>> and they are a big deal. Being that next week is my birthday, I really
>>> want to go to the game. At the moment I don't have anyone to go with
>>> and thought it would be fun and a big boost of confidence to try going
>>> by myself.
>>> For the football game should I call ahead and let someone know I am
>>> coming so I can be watched out for? (I'm more scared of the drunks
>>> being a female not because of blindness)
>>> My concern is not so much getting to the game; my concern is after the
>>> game. After the games you have 60,000 people all trying to get home at
>>> the same time and traffic is horrible. There is no way I could get
>>> home after the game; a cab couldn't get near the stadium. I know
>>> several people who are tailgating. Would it be safe as a female to try
>>> navigating the parking lots with all the drunk tailgaters with my cane
>>> and just asking random directions? Do police or other emergency
>>> officials patrol the tailgating areas after the games or is it just
>>> the fans?
>>> Is it even possible or safe for a blind person, particularly a female
>>> to go to a major college football game by themselves? Has anyone on
>>> this list done it or know of anyone who has? Or, am I just crazy?
>>> Heres the thing. Almost all of the people around here feel sorry for
>>> me and see me as the poor blind girl. Many people also know my
>>> mother...and so not only do they see me as the little blind girl but
>>> if I call them to ask for help with anything they immediately want to
>>> know why my mother isn't doing it for me, or helping me or whatever.
>>> If I call someone such as my aunt and go to the game with her and her
>>> friends and they guide me everywhere (as sighted people seem to want
>>> to always do) what does that say to them? And, what does it tell them
>>> about my new NFB philosophy of cane travel and independence?
>>> Is there any way of going to the game with someone but them letting me
>>> be in charge of the traveling? Would that be too much to ask a sighted
>>> person? So, someone is with me, and I am holding their arm so we can
>>> stay together but I am in charge...asking for directions, telling them
>>> which way to go, trying to get us un-lost when we get lost...that sort
>>> of thing. So, that way I'm with someone but get to practice travel at
>>> the same time.
>>> The thing is if I'm just guided I never get the practice and confidence...
>>> Help! I'm torn...it's my birthday...I really want to practice
>>> independent travel but also be safe...I love love love the idea of a
>>> person coming with me but me being in charge of the travel. I don't
>>> care how I do this football game but one way or the other I want to
>>> have some independent travel and feel that confidence whether with
>>> someone or not!
>>> Wouldn't it be so cool to go to my aunt's tailgate aftr the game? I
>>> can hear her now..."Kerri! How did you get here? What are you doing
>>> here?" Me:"Oh I just got back from the game. I'm here with my cane...I
>>> just asked a bunch of directions." She'd probably scream lol!
>>> Thanks for all help and ideas!
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